I picked up a used copy of Charles de Lint’s The Ivory and the Horn for a friend. This and an earlier collection, Dreams Underfoot, consist of urban fantasy stories set in the fictional city of Newford; I’d read them both several years earlier and then stopped reading Newford stuff, because they’d just gotten too preachy for me. (Admittedly, the stories in Dreams Underfoot had Messages too, but there were enough that were really good in spite of that to make it worth while.) I flipped through it today to see if my memory was correct; alas, it was. However, I was pleased to discover that I continue to like “Coyote Stories” because of its narrative voices.
This Coyote he’s not too smart sometimes. One day he gets into a fight with a biker, says he going to count coup like his plains brothers, knock that biker all over the street, only the biker’s got himself a big hickory-handled hunting knife and he cuts Coyote’s head right off. Puts a quick end to that fight, I’ll tell you. Coyote he spends the rest of the afternoon running around, trying to find someone to sew his head back on again.
“That Coyote,” Jimmy Coldwater says, “he’s always losing his head over one thing or another.”
I tell you we laughed.